From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A Media Foundation, Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), has raised the alarm that Trafficking in Persons (TIP) has assumed a dangerous dimension in Nigeria and beyond.
The Foundation was, however, concerned that the situation is inimical to humanity such that every trafficked person was a huge loss to the nation.
It argued that it was time to cripple and weaken the traffickers more by tracking their illicit proceeds and funds as cash flow in and out of Nigeria.
JIFORM President, Ajibola Abayomi, in a statement, on Sunday, urged Nigerians not to be carried away by the feats achieved by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) over the years despite the obvious paucity of funds as there was need to do more.
He said: “For this to happen, there must be collaboration between the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the NAPTIP. Every trafficked child is a potential president, governor or future leader. That was why the reportage capturing the injustice to the victims with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book by the media is always very crucial.
“Although, the narrative on human trafficking is changing for good because NAPTIP was making the nation too hot for human traffickers, but we must not pretend on this, for the fight to be sustained, the Federal Government must allow NAPTIP to bear arms because the police have limited personnel with huge responsibilities at hand.
“There is a need to effectively fund the budget of the NAPTIP to enable it deliver on its mandate, allow its presence in the 774 local governments, empower the agency to recruit more personnel across the nation and work more with the immigration service to strategically monitor the flow of migrants where necessary.
“It’s now expedient for the government to stop gambling with the leadership of the agency. Appointment of three Director Generals for NAPTIP in less than six months, is not good for stability.
“Our expectation is that the current Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, a reputable Associate Professor of Law with passion for TIP will be retained for an adequate period to enable her consolidate on the gains of the agency. In Nigeria, we need both strong leadership and institutions to achieve results.”
The JIFORM President noted that there should be global media force championing migrant reportage with human face, regular migration, diaspora matters, and economic matters associated with migration for the benefits of humanity.
He commended NAPTIP and the Fundación Internacionaly Para Iberoamérica de Administración yPolíticas Públicas (FIIAPP) a French agency otherwise known as International and Latin American Foundation of Administration and Public Policies for facilitating a three-day training and capacity development aimed at enhancing the standard of reporting template for members of the trafficking in persons media corps which ended on Friday at Keffi, Nasarawa State.
From left: The Director General of NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri-Azi, while presenting certificate of participation to JIFORM President, Ajibola Abayomi on Friday December 10, 2021 in Keffi, Nassarawa State during a 3-day training and capacity building development on standard reporting template for members of TIP Corps and Officers of Public Relations Unit of NAPTIP sponsored by FIIAPP.